Friday, December 3, 2010

Victoria Secret Fashion Show

            I recently watched the Victoria Secret Fashion Show and first off it was incredible. The shoes were amazing, outfits were edgy and perfect, and the stage was all gold glitter. This show was extraordinary and all the models looked beautiful and didn’t even want to leave the stage.

            This year the runway was filled with a rainbow of models and displayed more faces of color than ever. This year for New York Fashion Week, designers are making an effort on including more ethnic models this season. They want to bring change on the runways, which is just what they needed. This is because of the culture-centered perspective in the fact that they are respective other ethnicities but also using Michelle Obama as a prime influence. The new models of this generation now are a true representation of diversity.

            The Victoria Secret Fashion Show displayed the richness of diverse beauty and didn’t stick to the typical “white model stereotype.” They are not only respecting other cultures but respecting the United States which is a country filled with many diverse cultures.  I loved seeing a change and seeing all kinds of different beauty. They were showing that there is not one type of beauty and beauty can come in all different colors, shapes, and styles.

            However, that’s not the only way Victoria Secret brought diversity to the show. They had Akon performed on the runway before Katy Perry and he seemed to have enjoyed himself. This show opened themselves up to all cultures and races that is something America needed to see and experience. This was a great show and it couldn’t have been any better and I think they nailed it in picking a diverse group of beautiful models.

Love, Fanele. "The New Codes of Beauty, Absatou Ndiya." Blog: Fashion Et Al. 11 Nov. 2010. Web.

What's Eating You?

            The show “What’s Eating You,” documents the lives of people who experience several different types of eating disorders. You get to see them at the beginning of treatment all the way to the end as doctors, nutritionists and therapists try to help them. Each patient has story that connects to his or her eating problem.
            This show uses narrative therapy, which is “an innovative and collaborative therapeutic approach that is intrigued by the stories of people’s lives” (Daigle). The focus of this type of approach understands the stories their lives lead are based on influences from society and culture. In therapy, the doctors might work with a client on rewriting their life story in hope that they feel they have power to direct their life in a healthier and peaceful route. Narrative therapy uses the technique of externalizing the problem, which is “a way of removing the problem from within ourselves and seeing it as a separate thing that influences us and interacts wit us in ways we might not even realize” (Daigle).
            The show tackles common and bizarre eating problems from anorexia to bulimia and to eating chalk or toilet paper and many more. However, I think that Adrienne in the first episode was by far the scariest. She really did see herself as big when she was asked by her therapist to draw what she thought she looked like. Then when the therapist traced Adrienne she was shocked to see how big the difference was between the realities of it all to what she believed in her head. This show is very emotional but reveals people going through hardships that many American’s can relate to and learn from their recovery process.
            I think this show represented the narrative perspective theory by presenting the stories of these people and documented their life through recovery. This is something that would be good for some teens to see and realize being sickly skinny is not what it is cracked up to be. This show can be an inspiration to others in America who are struggling with similar issues.

Daigle, Kate. "Narrative Theory." Blog: Kate Daigle Counseling. 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Typical American Family

            When you think about a presidential family, do you think they live a normal life in the White House? No, most people know they live by a strict schedule and there is a lot of press involved. Running the United States is a full-time job for any president and it requires a lot of traveling. There is not a lot of time for family and life is far from normal. However, the Obama’s attempt to make life at the White House as normal as he can and even calls it a “nice home office” (Inbar).

            They are representing a new and improved Presidential family. They built a okay ground for the two little girls and even brought in a new edition a dog, Bo. President Obama states that he can have dinner with them, help the girls with homework, and tuck them in at night. Not something most would think a President would have time to do. The Obama’s are making a huge effort to make this as homey and a normal family life for themselves and their two little girls. In the recent ABC interview, Obama talked about how he watches football in the oval office because the little girls were not a fan of sports but that Michelle Obama pops in every once an awhile. They also mentioned that they workout together in the mornings which is interesting how much time the President has to spend time with his family.

            I think this image they have created for the public is not the whole truth behind living the life style of the President’s family. This is because of the visual perspective theory. However, I can’t deny that the family is full of love and close. But is this image of a typical American family becoming an obsession?  In reality, the Obama’s living a very untypical lifestyle but somehow have been successful projecting this image of their family as a normal America family and this has turned into an obsession. They make everything picture perfect for the camera and media but I want to know what is the Obama family really like in this chaotic lifestyle they are living? It’s not all picture perfect like they preach. 

Inbar, Michael. "Obama offers glimpse of White House life." Today. 2 Feb. 2009. Web.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sarah Palin's Reality Show

            Does this reality show help people see her in the Oval Office? The reality shows Sarah as typical American mother but also alluding to her political platform in subtle and not so subtle ways. Palin is becoming the “type” that now represents successful women and successful politics. She is not the typical “wife” you would find from the feminist theory. Palin gets down and dirty on a fishing trip and even clubs a fish to death.
            Sarah Palin is not the typical “hockey mom” but she is a… Giving birth to and raising five children while she has gone on to be Mayor, Governor, and vice presidential candidate of the Republican party earns her the nickname “barracuda” for toughness in athletic competition. She is definitely not the feminist theory stay home mom that only cooks, and cleans. Palin is not redefining the feminist ideal but many say she is “a kind of multi-function iFeminist for the postmodern woman” (Kay). Being the typical stay home mom is irrelevant to Palin but love of family, community, and country is what guides her political career. Palin is a typical concern parent and showed this with daughter Willow, as she would not allow her guy friend to go upstairs. She cares and has concerns for her children like any other American mom but at the same time represents what would have happened to American women without a feminist revolution.
            Feminists are angry and criticize Sarah Palin’s lack of experience as a substitute for their panic over her indifference to feminism. However, Palin is a real and strong women that is highly successful and is at the same time is a mother to her five children. She is the new postmodern women of America.

Kay, Barbara. "Sarah Palin, a feminist revolution without the feminists." National Post Inc. 10 Sept. 2008. Web. 
"Inside Palin's Reality Show." BLTWY: 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

American's Hate Towards Illegal Immigrants

            Illegal immigration into the United States is substantial in scale and millions live here currently. Sadly, Americans have historically hated immigrants and this is because they believe they are too different in terms of religion and economic status. As a result, American’s believe they do not want to assimilate and become Americans. This is a huge political issue right now as many Border States are making efforts to enact new immigration laws.
Illegal immigrants and legal immigrants have gone through a lot of discrimination and dislike from citizens of the U.S. because of their cultural differences. American’s feel protective over their territory and are cautious of anyone who threatens their culture and heritage. However, the problem that has become a huge issue is the disempowerment of immigrants. They are discriminated because they have crossed illegally even if they are good people trying to live a better life. I found an article about a 24- year-old businesswoman from the Dominican Republic and she gives her testimonial about how since high school she has had limitations. She has struggled through her years being in America and all because she came here illegally.  She should not be punished because of her parent’s decision to bring her to the country illegally. The article also talks about two promising students that are discouraged from advancing to college because of their parents’ decision of bringing them to American the wrong way.
I do not agree with illegal immigrants but I don’t think it is fair that children are being punished because their parents brought them here. I disagree with punishing these women who want to succeed and make a better life for themselves and their family. These woman want to go to school and become something they never could have become in their homeland. This is argument goes along with the Marxist perspective in which “society has power structures that privilege   some groups while placing others in a relatively disadvantaged position” (???).  American’s are disempowering immigrants because they were not privileged enough to be born in America.
This is a huge issue America is dealing with today and I never realized how much American’s have discriminated illegal aliens. To some degree I believe we should be strict and lenient at the same time because some people crossing have good intentions and only want to have a second chance to live happily ever after.

Brummett, Barry. "Varieties of Rhetorical Criticism." In Dimensions of Popular Culture. Tuscaloosa, AL. University of Alabama Press. 1991. Web.
Sacchetti, Maria. "Illegal immigrant students tell of lost opportunities." The Boston Globe. 26 Nov. 2010. Web.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Walmart Wishes You a Merry Christmas

            Since 2007, there has been a controversy on retailers marketing Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas recognize all the holidays and religions. However, this year Walmart has decided to bring Christmas back into its marketing after several years of ‘Happy Holiday.’ They are even changing the name of their seasonal decorations department to ‘The Christmas Shop’ from ‘The Holiday Shop.’
            They are not scared and are ready to boost sales during the holiday season this year after all the religious and other group’s boycotted retailers. The world’s largest retail chain will have an in-your-face Christmas theme this year. So, will this offend other religions? In my opinion I don’t think so because America was founded on freedom of religion. Walmart has every right to promote Christmas and I don’t think it offends people of differing faiths. Walmart is still selling other religious holiday decorations but they are just changing their marketing strategy.            
            People of other religions might be offended and feel like stores are not respecting their culture. This is because of the culture-centered theory and the ‘Happy Holidays’ was the umbrella expression including all celebrations. However, in the U.S. one cannot use force or law to make someone say something or not say something if he or she desires otherwise. The majority of the U.S. population is Christian and they celebrate Christmas. So, what is wrong with retailers wanting to promote Christmas marketing to make more profit?
            I believe that this will always be a huge controversy but other religions will not be offended in my opinion. Walmart is not opting out all religions and are still selling different Holidays cards and decorations. They have every right to promote Christmas and will still be respectful to all of the other holidays.

"Wal-Mart opts for 'Christmas' marketing." Associated Press. 15 Nov. 2006. Web.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Muslim Stereotypes in the Media

            Recently an Islamic organization uses San Francisco’s Muni buses to educate people about the Islamic religion. The organization has been posting advertisements outside of the buses that has a phrases like “why Islam” with a phone number below. The ads will appear on approximately 170 Muni buses and 10 cable cars (“Bus ads aim to shatter Muslim stereotypes). The goal of this is to help non-Muslims learn more about the religion and culture in hopes to remove the negative stereotypes.
            Muslim’s have been labeled and defined as terrorists, fundamentalists, fanatics and people that hate America. This has become the stereotype for Muslims because the media misrepresents their culture. In Hollywood films, Muslims are never just ordinary people. They are seen as terrorists that want to destroy America and ever since 9/11 people have associated the Muslim group to any terrorists acts. The reason they do this is first its entertainment and brings in profit but because most image-makers do not have the religious background or cultural background to understand Islam. 

            National media is guilty of this as published an article stating, “Muslim terrorist tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner packed with 300 people just moments before landing” (Mangalji). The Islamic faith is being portrayed through in mainstream media, as the terroristic acts are committed in the name of Islam. This is not true but that is not what the media is telling American’s to believe. The word Islam comes from the Arabic concept of “salaam,” or peace (Mangalji). However, America is giving a distorted view of the culture and are not educated enough about the culture so, we believe what the media portrays.

             It is important for American’s to be educated because of the culture-centered theory. Before making assumptions about a culture, one must explore and become educated. It is important to be respectful of other cultures and make sure one fully understands the culture before making claims that could be offensive. Media does not do this and make a mockery out of the Islamic culture.
            Americans don’t realize that the Middle East is one of the most misunderstood, misperceived, and stereotyped regions of the world. This is because we are not educated enough to understand their culture. So, in my opinion putting the ads on the bus is a great idea and will help non-Muslims understand more about the religion.

"Bus aim to shatter Muslim Stereotypes." San Francisco News, 19 Feb. 2009. Web. 
Mangalji, Shamsa. "National media distorts image of Muslims."The Rice Thresher. 29 Jan. 2010. Web.